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Serbia, Albania, N. Macedonia to establish free economic zone

Author Radomir Ralev
Serbia, Albania, N. Macedonia to establish free economic zone Source: North Macedonia Government

BELGRADE (Serbia), October 11 (SeeNews) - Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia have signed a declaration for establishing a zone for free movement of people, goods, services and capital, the Serbian government said.

Under the agreement, each country will allow the citizens of the other two to cross its borders with an ID card only no later than 2021 and will work towards the establishment of a Western Balkan Regional Economic Zone where goods, services, people and capital will move freely, the Serbian government said in a statement on Thursday.

The declaration was signed by Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic and the prime ministers Edi Rama of Albania and Zoran Zaev of North Macedonia during a meeting in Novi Sad. 

"This initiative is open to joining by other Western Balkan countries, as well as other stakeholders that support regional co-operation. Now we give strong political support, and in the future we will have other working meetings and meetings for implementation of our commitments," Zaev said during a news conference after the meeting.

People will be able to get a job anywhere in the future Western Balkan Regional Economic Zone as diplomas will be mutually recognised, the Serbian government said.

"We believe that we can shorten the waiting time of trucks at our borders because, according to a World Bank's analysis, our trucks lose 26 million hours waiting at the borders. It would be a great saving, and they would have more money for higher salaries," Vucic noted.

The signatories also committed to intensify cooperation against cross-border organised crime, as well as to respond jointly to emergencies such as natural disasters, the Serbian government added.

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